Re: [unicode] Re: (TC304.2313) AND/OR: antediluvian views

From: Alain LaBonté  (
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 11:37:05 EDT

À 10:45 2000-06-12 -0500, David Starner a écrit:
>On Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 05:31:58AM -0800, Alain wrote:
> > Personally I am all in favour of pictograms everywhere, as far
> > as possible (it avoids many linguistic problems, in particular in
> > multilingual environments -- such as airports). It requires,
> unfortunately,
> > a lot of education, as most of them, beyond a certain number of elementary
> > ones, are not obvious nor intuitive at all. But it is worth the effort,
> > this kind of education.

>Why? By that time you've started to make a language - one that can't
>be written in Braille, can't be easily displayed on those dot-matrix
>light signs, and can't be spoken ("Passports?", "Look out!"). The only
>advantage I can see is it being an easier sell than a real language.

[Alain] It is much lighter than having to provide indications, say, in 12
languages (most common example: toilets).

    On VCRs it seems a good prcatice (outside the USA, at least).

    In Canada, on keyboards, it avoids putting bilingual indications for
functions, and to have to produce different versions showing English first
then French, or French first, then English.

    With more than 2 languages, precedence becomes problematic. As an
example of language precedence, an actual case: at the Toronto Airport
Radisson Suite Hotels, my prefered hotel in Toronto (so far! but it could
change...), they recently introduced a multilingual voice mail system. In
Canada, French and English are the two official languages of the country
(and most probably at this hotel the majority of the customers speak
Englsih and French, with a high concentration of French speakers). In
general in Canada you are presented with a choice of language where you
indicate your option by pressing a specific key on the telephone keypad (1
English 2 French -- or the reverse in Québec). At this hotel, French is the
5th choice. It is offensive, I can assure you (I would not have been
offended in Taiwan, of course).

    Pictograms avoid such problems. I just gave an indication of where it
can be very useful, and be a peace factor.

Alain LaBonté

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